By David Owen

Kasumigaseki Country Club 160113January 16 - Tokyo 2020 has switched its proposed Olympic golfing venue, in a move that would situate the battle for medals in one of the newest – and potentially most high-profile – Olympic sports well away from the zones where most Games venues would be located.

The Japanese bid now says its golf competitions would take place at the Kasumigaseki Country Club (pictured top).

This is well to the north-west of the main Olympic areas, at a distance of 49 kilometres from the Olympic Village.

At the applicant phase of the present contest, Tokyo had identified its proposed golf venue as Wakasu Golf Links in the Tokyo Bay zone, close to several other proposed Tokyo 2020 venues.

Explaining its decision to insidethegames, the bid said it had been "coordinating extensively" with national and international federations, and indicated that spectator capacity and major tournament hosting experience were among the determining factors.

The bidding contest for the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics, won by Rio de Janeiro, in which Tokyo came third, pre-dated golf's acquisition of Olympic status, even though the sport did ultimately win inclusion in the 2016 programme, along with rugby sevens.

Because of this, Tokyo 2016 did not require a golf plan.

Tokyo 2020 said its new venue had been approved by the International Golf Federation (IGF) and was "one of Japan's most praised golf courses".

One website consulted by insidethegames ranked Kasumigaseki's east course fifth in Japan.

Golf is a popular sport in the country and the Olympic men's and women's competitions would be expected to arouse great interest.

Tokyo is up against Istanbul and Madrid in the contest for the 2020 Games, with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) due to make its decision in the Argentinean city of Buenos Aires on September 7.

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